The latest in Senate “gangs” has given up their turf, at least for now. The Hill reports that the bipartisan coalition that attempted to float a non-drilling drilling proposal has disbanded after seeing no prospect for wide support. They will satisfy themselves by offering the most Senatorial of constructs — the “statement of principals [sic]”:
A bipartisan group of senators who sought a compromise in the rancorous energy debate won’t introduce their bill before lawmakers adjourn for the elections, several Senate aides said Thursday.
Instead, the so-called Gang of 20 will offer a statement of principals outlining their agreement on a host of divisive issues, including expanded offshore drilling. They plan to offer legislation once the political season has ended, according to an aide to a Democrat involved in the discussions. The aide said that the election-year environment has poisoned the atmosphere and hampered the chances of passing a bill on such a controversial campaign topic.
“They have got a real bipartisan comprehensive plan here so they don’t want to just throw it out there and have it torn apart because of partisan sniping,” the Democratic aide said. “They feel they have a real chance at getting this bill passed after they get past the election.”
In looking at their principles, it’s easy to see why. It’s a Utopian list of policy goals that have almost no basis in reality, and which doesn’t provide any real path to opening American energy resources in the near- and mid-term.
- Transitioning 85% of all autos to non-petroleum fuels in 20 years. Uh, sure. What would be the fuel, and how would the nation build an infrastructure to meet the need in just 20 years? Apart from those two questions, hey, the plan sounds brilliant.
- Provide incentives to boost nuclear energy. Incentives aren’t the problem — it’s the regulation and the interference from environmental groups. This is a step in the right direction, but it’s a baby step. What’s really needed is a streamlined application and approval process that doesn’t allow for undue legal attacks.
- Repealing billions in subsidies for oil companies. This is a popular theme this year, and while I’m no fan of corporate welfare, we do have to remember that the profit margin for American oil companies averages 8.5%, and that they pay at least three times that in taxes. Gas won’t get any cheaper at the pump if we increase that latter figure.
- Opening the eastern Gulf and coastal areas of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia for drilling. This isn’t even half-baked; it’s one-eighth baked. Why just those states? Why not open both coasts, up and down both seaboards, for the option of drilling? This proposal would leave it to the states to decide; why can’t California make that decision, too? New York? Maryland? Florida? Does Washington have a mandate to keep one arm tied behind America’s back when it comes to energy?
If this is what the Gang of 10/16/20 spent all of its time producing, then they wasted their time and a lot of media ink. This isn’t a proposal to produce more energy; it’s a proposal to cover more ass. It’s a bigger sham than the bill passed out of the House this week.
Let’s make it very, very clear and simple enough so that even Senators and Representatives can understand it: Drill here. Drill now. Pay less. Create American jobs. Keep American wealth inside America. If that’s too difficult to understand, then allow others with better comprehension skills to take office instead.